Book Blitz & Excerpt: Lillian and the Italians, by David Gee

Lillian and the Italians by David Gee

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Lillian and the Italians

Author:  David Gee

Publisher:  The Conrad Press

Cover Artist: Charlotte Mouncey

Release Date:  April 11, 2021

Genres: 1960s Mafia Romance/Romance Thriller

Tropes: Bi-guys and their parents

Themes: Mother comes to terms with finding her son is bisexual

Heat Rating:  2 flames       

Length: 101 000 words/ 366 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Buy Links  

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  

The Conrad Press

 

INSTA Lillian and the Italians by David Gee

Venice, Amalfi – secrets and danger

 

Blurb

Looking for her wayward son in 1960s Italy, an English widow encounters revelations and begins a dangerous romance.

In Venice Lillian Rutherford meets the ex-gigolo who has shared the last four years of Andrew’s life; his disclosures force her to confront a side of her son that she never suspected – he is bisexual. Going on to Amalfi, she meets the charismatic Prince Massimo Monfalcone, whose gay playboy son is being held to ransom in Corsica with Andrew. Massimo distracts Lillian with his life story: his first wife was murdered in a Sicilian blood-feud; his second wife killed herself because of his infidelity. As they wait for news of their sons, a bond grows between Lillian and the Prince…


Excerpt 

Massimo led her across to a wooden bench overlooking the steps down to the platform of rock and the barely whispering sea. ‘I love this house,’ he said as they sat down, ‘but the Amalfi coast doesn’t have much to offer the boys compared to Sardinia or some of the other jet-set hang-outs. Positano used to be chic but it’s become very touristy.’

‘At their age a touristy place ought to be what they’d want: discotheques and bars.’ 

‘Fausto’s happier in a crypt full of old ledgers, and Fabio prefers to be seen where it’s fashionable to be seen. If he was hanging about in low dives with working-class types and slumming tourists I’d be worried about his security. There’s safety in numbers with his rich society friends, but I do worry that he may acquire a taste for dangerous vices.’

Lillian took a deep breath that owed nothing to the steps. She said: ‘I hope Andrew won’t be a bad influence on him.’

Massimo stared deep into her eyes. He said: ‘On the contrary, he may be a better influence than some of the crowd he usually hangs around with. Your son has a certain amount of culture and sophistication. Perhaps some of that will rub off on Fabio.’

‘Have you met my son?’

He nodded. ‘At Fabio’s birthday party in Siena last April. I didn’t stay long, I didn’t want to spoil his fun with his young friends, but, yes, I met Andrew. He has a lot of charm and although he pretends to be shallow and cynical, I could see that he was a man of sensitivity and deep feelings underneath.’ He paused, still looking at her. ‘The sensitivity he gets from you, I’m quite sure. The shallowness is, I think, a thing of his own making. His looks come from his father’s side, I guess, but there’s something that connects you and him just as there is with me and Fabrizio although he’s the image of his mother. That something, that connection, is what has brought you to Italy. I would go to the ends of the earth for either of my sons.’

A driver tooted his impatience on the next headland. Lillian’s eyes were filmed with tears which she managed not to shed. ‘We’re keeping them waiting,’ she said, gesturing at the group of men at the car.

‘They are paid to wait,’ he said bluntly. ‘This is an important moment for you, for us.’ He took her right hand and held it between both of his. ‘Lillian, if you need to cry, you should cry. There can be no shame between us, the parents of two difficult sons.’

Freeing her hand, she took another deep breath. ‘My son is homosexual,’ she said, meeting his penetrating gaze.

‘I know this,’ he said.

‘He’s more than twice the age of your – Fabio.’ The boy’s name was finally fixed in her mind. ‘He may – corrupt him.’

Massimo smiled into her eyes. ‘My dear Lillian, it’s possible that my useless son will “corrupt” Andrew, who has given up the practice of interior design to go sailing with him. My son too seems to be homosexual. Of course at seventeen he may grow out of it, although I think not in his case. It’s a disappointment, but there are worse things he could be.’

‘I can’t think of many,’ said Lillian wretchedly.

He mocked her with a gentle laugh and patted her hands. ‘By the time I was seventeen I’d made love to every available girl in our village as well as some of their mothers and even some of their brothers.’ Lillian, with an effort, managed not to look shocked. ‘I was lucky,’ he continued. ‘Girls were supposed to be virgins until they married, but a surprising number of them were available for the grandson of Don Massimo Monfalcone. For many Sicilian boys to this day homosexual activity is one of the more respectable ways of acquiring a bit of experience before marriage.’

Lillian supposed he was hinting at some form of degeneracy that was thankfully beyond the reach of her imagination. ‘I shouldn’t be telling you this,’ he apologized. ‘I’m trying to make the point that boys do things they mostly grow out of. I did. Andrew apparently hasn’t. Maybe Fabio will, maybe he won’t, but whatever happens I don’t think your son will have much to do with it.’

‘Between you and Carlo I seem to be getting a whole new sexual education at the age of fifty,’ she said.

He laughed again. ‘Is that how old you are? One would never think so.’


About the Author 

David Gee has worked in London and the Persian Gulf. His previous novels include Shaikh-Down and The Bexhill Missile Crisis, a prequel to Lillian and the Italians. He lives on the UK south coast near Brighton. His website and blog are at: www.davidgeebooks.com

 

 

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Pickoff, by GP Hutchinson

pickoff

 

Pickoff
America’s Pastime, Book 3
by GP Hutchinson

Sports Thriller, Crime Thriller, Romantic Thriller

Published: April 2021

Publisher: The Hutchinson Group

A ballplayer. A diva. The mob. Trouble, 1920s style.

Ace major league catcher Joe Rath suddenly finds himself riding the pine when team management decides they’ve got to have slugger Frank Walsh on the roster. Only, Walsh brings along more baggage than anybody bargains for.

Meanwhile, Rath’s troubles multiply. With his wife already discontent back home, he keeps bumping into a certain breathtaking showgirl whose dangerous situation he can’t ignore. A Chicago crime boss enters the picture, and things snowball.

Before he knows it, Rath finds himself not only running the base paths but also running for his life.

Purchase Link

Amazon


Excerpt from Chapter 3

Just then, a lone spotlight came on, casting its smoky beam to the baby grand piano on stage. As the piano player commenced the introduction to a slower number, a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in a glittering silver dress drifted into the curve of the piano.

Pinky’s jaw fell open. “Hubba hubba,” he murmured.

Hubba hubba, indeed, Joe mused.

She began to sing, and her voice was as captivating as her appearance. “There’s a saying old, says that love is blind . . . ”

This is that new Gershwin song.” Pinky wiped his lips with the back of his hand.

Shhh.”

Pinky stared at him. “You’re a married man, Joe. You need to leave this one to me.”

He was right, of course. But that voice.

Only man I ever think of with regret . . . ”

Joe stood spellbound. The girl was stunning—fashionable waves crimped into her chin-length hair, smoky eyes, perfect lips. She made the melody ebb and flow, seemingly without effort. Yet just beneath the surface, there was something he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

In a fuller voice, the lovely diva carried the tune along to its elegant chorus. And all of a sudden, there it was. “I’m a little lamb who’s lost in a wood . . . ”

That was it—an air of vulnerability, Joe thought. Despite the aura of sophisticated sensuality, something in the way she held her hands, something in the way she rendered each phrase said she wasn’t so secure.

Come on, he said to himself. How do you know that? It’s a song about a woman in need—

Someone to Watch Over Me.’ That’s the way she’s gotta sing it.Nevertheless, he couldn’t shake the notion. He knew insecurity. He’d felt it himself in some ball games. He’d picked up on it in other ballplayers, even called for a certain pitch to take advantage of it when he sensed it in a batter.

The song ended, and the room resounded with applause.

The girl gave a demure smile, a bashful bow. And then she sashayed off the stage to a dark fellow in a dark suit who gave her his arm and led her through a curtained doorway.

Wow!” Pinky’s gaze was still on the curtains. “I’ll watch over you, sweetheart. Come to Papa.”

Joe glanced Pinky’s way. “Wipe your chin, buddy. You’re drooling.”

Pinky ran his fingers over his chin, then looked Joe in the eyes. “Whatcha talking about, funny guy? Dry as a bone. Anyway”—he pointed—“I saw the way you were looking at her, too. Don’t make me have to tell the little missus back in Baltimore your eyes are wandering when you’re off away from home.”

He knew Pinky was only kidding. Nonetheless, he was right. Mena was already bothered by all their time apart. Joe wondered whether she secretly feared he might fall for some pretty young doll he met along the way and return to Baltimore with divided affections.

One more beer,” he said, “then I’m gonna ankle it back to the hotel, call it a night.”

Hey, I was only joking about you and Miss Little Lost Lamb. Don’t you wanna stick around and see if she’s gonna sing another number?” Pinky clasped Joe’s shoulder.

I don’t know . . . ”

Really. Why hurry off? It’s not like you and me are gonna work a lot of innings tomorrow.”

A flurry of thoughts whirled through Joe’s mind—Mena, the singer, asking Cap Irwin to trade him to a team where he’d have a shot at becoming a star catcher once again. “Probably not,” he admitted.

There you go, then. Let’s get us another coupla drinks.”

Just one more.


About the Author

“GP Hutchinson has the gift to tell a compelling tale, enlighten you without preaching and keep you on the edge of your seat. He takes you on unexpected trails populated by flesh and blood characters of depth and substance,” says Western TV & movie star Alex Cord. Nick Wale of Novel Ideas says, “With great mastery GP Hutchinson paints a West I can see, feel and smell. [He] knows how to write, and he knows instinctively.”

Hutchinson’s first Western novel, “Strong Convictions,” won the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award for Best First Western of 2015, as well as a gold medal from the National Indie Excellence Awards. “Strong Suspicions,” the second volume in the Emmett Strong Western series, garnered a gold medal in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. And “Strong Ambitions” took silver in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

In addition to his interest in the Old West, GP Hutchinson has been a longtime enthusiast of baseball, America’s first true national pastime, a game played from coast to coast by the late 1800s. While he enjoys the game as it is played today, his most recent novels are tales of players caught up in life-and-death struggles during the early years of professional baseball. Steeped in the actual history of the game, as well as societal realities of the times, these stories feature both fictional and actual characters, teams, and leagues.

A graduate of Louisiana State University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Hutchinson has lived in Costa Rica and Spain. He currently resides in upstate South Carolina with his wife, Carolyn. Besides writing, he enjoys spending time in the mountains and horseback riding whenever the opportunity arises.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Dahlia + Giveaway

dahlia banner

 

Dahlia:
The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit
by David Minutillo
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Thriller

 


Making a pact with the underworld isn’t a problem …
but change the deal and hell breaks loose.

Dahlia’s world was turned upside down as a child and her innocence taken. But she chose to fight back with her own blend of magical mayhem. Levi has been let down by every person he’s ever loved. He’s betrayed, lost and about to end it all.

London, 2019. Our star-crossed lovers meet at a tattoo festival on the Thames. Big Ben might look the same, but magic is spilling onto the streets as Dahlia’s dark spirit begs for blood. Can she keep her raging orbit in check long enough to survive? Are they doomed? Or can Levi save them both?

You’ll love this paranormal thrill-ride of beauty, chaos and despair which will keep you guessing until the bitter end.

** Only .99 cents!!**
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dahlia vw teaser 2

dahlia vw- excerpt

We bounce from tent to tent, gawking at the wondrous displays on show. The buzz of tattoo guns is thick in the air, along with the smell of sterilised steel and ink. Only in a hospital would you find more bloodied body parts.
We stop to watch a lady have her inner thigh carved up with a vibrating weapon. Between the way the artist has her positioned and her very short skirt, nothing’s left to the imagination. But it’s his design that really has us drooling.

This festival is about so much more than tattoos. It represents an entire subset of society, the counterculture movement, those that choose not to conform and are proud of the fact. If it’s considered taboo, you’ll find it here. Each stand is an ode to the odd. One heavy-set man is flogging body rings and offering to, “throw the piercing in for free”. A husband-and-wife team stand behind a pyramid of homemade soap, each block coming with precise instructions on how to scrub your soul clean. Another display is merely hundreds of stacked plastic cages filled with docile rodents being cared for by a boy who barely looks thirteen.

We wander on, pushing each other and giggling like idiots. We’re riding high from our earlier escape and the cocktail of additives in our systems. The drugs are working nicely now. Our minds are on a spicy teapot ride. We stare endlessly at everything and focus on nothing. People’s faces roll in and out of our gaze and one lady even bothers to ask, “Are you two alright?” Probably not, but God, don’t it feel good.




A small travel journal on a family holiday to Italy in 2005 would become the catalyst for my first book. After bad weather forced us inside, I found myself scribing a story about a fictional character named, Lucca from Portofino. Balcony Nights – Tales of a Moonlit Guitarist was born, and for the next year, my keyboard took a beating as my imagination leapt into print.

But my downfall was self-belief. And eventually, niggling inadequacy won the battle, and I shelved the project. Over the next decade, I would get random hot flushes of enthusiasm and open the manuscript from time to time. Though inevitably, after a day’s tinkering, I would see a complete rewrite was in order and quietly back away from the near finished draft.

Ironically, another holiday would change all that, when I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (the Holy Bible for anyone suffering with procrastination). It was time to kick my own ass into submission and get a book finished. The idea for Dahlia came into my head a few days later, and once again, I spent morning and night, before and after long days of work, bashing away at the keys. One day I looked up and there it was. A 120,000 word, completed manuscript.

Not long after, came the redundancy call from Egan. And just like that, I was a full-time writer. It’s now been a year and change since that day, and I couldn’t be prouder of sticking to my guns and working my ass off to make this dream come true. In that time, I’ve started and finished a novella called Travel Infinity, completed a second, 100K manuscript called Scarecrow and have just published my first novel called Dahlia – The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit on all major sites.

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